Writing by Patrick Keddie
An incident last June, a few days before Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Mursi was ousted by the military, made Ahmed realise there had been a significant shift in the country’s political atmosphere.
A secular activist in Egypt’s revolution that emerged from the Arab Spring uprisings, Ahmed had always staunchly opposed both the security forces and the Muslim Brotherhood.
But that day last June, as he chanted revolutionary slogans and vented his anger outside a police station in the city of Alexandria, a group of bystanders closed round him, demanding to know what he thought he was doing. Ahmed backed down and fled.
Now he is glad that the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Mursi has been ousted from power, but is concerned about the resurgence of the military, security services and police, and the widespread support they enjoy. In the current climate, he thinks: “It is best to keep my mouth shut.”
Secular protesters like Ahmed launched and drove the 2011 uprising that toppled the autocratic President Hosni Mubarak. Yet, nearly three years on, many secular activists argue that the threat to human rights from the current regime is even greater than it was under Mubarak. They feel crushed in the battle between the widely supported military and the significant section of society that identifies itself as Islamist.
[…Read rest of the article published by the Sunday Herald here]